Put Some Clothes on Already!

February 10, 2015

Yesterday I checked out one of my favorite news websites. I go there regularly to be informed about world events–unfortunately it is usually not very good news. Yesterday the bad news was accompanied by something even worse–a picture of the revealed backside of an aging pop star!  Her Grammy “outfit” (meant to shock, no doubt) was all about exposure. I don’t know if I was more aggravated by the picture or that the news site posted it.

News? Really?

Of course it is all about eyeballs on their site and clicks on their ads. Both the site and the pop star mutually benefitting from all of the “exposure.”

But when are we going to get enough of this? Celebrities spilling out of their scant clothing; publically exposing private parts; “leaking” sex tapes; etc.–all to generate a little buzz and keep themselves somehow relevant? That is all sad enough, but when it starts headlining news sites next to the latest bulletin about terror threats?

Enough. Put some clothes on already!

I have two young daughters. I really do not want them influenced by this kind of behavior. It is not to be celebrated. It is not cool. It is vulgar. It objectifies women. It is not freedom. Rather it is a symptom of slavery to sin.

I said it. It is sinful.

It is misguided. It takes the beauty of God’s creation and corrupts it.

It damages girls because they can grow up thinking this is acceptable and how they should dress if they want to be attractive. It damages boys because it trains them to view girls as little more than objects on display.

Is there a chance we can rediscover modesty?

Modesty by definition is about drawing undue attention to yourself. Certainly exposing flesh qualifies. In New Testament times it was more about extravagant dress–elaborate hairstyles and way too much bling. In that context we find this teaching:

What matters is not your outer appearance–the styling of your hair, the jewelry your wear, the cut of your clothes–but the inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. (1 Peter 3:3-4 MSG)

Maybe we will reach some kind of tipping point as a culture–where exposure becomes overexposure and enough will be enough. I don’t know.

In the meantime, let’s work to emphasize the value of what God delights in by demonstrating and teaching that gracious, gentle inner beauty to our young people.

Yep, I am getting older and this bothers me.

What is ironic is that the pop star with the missing material in her costume is exactly my age. She should know better.

Put some clothes on already!



Could You Use Some Parenting Help?

January 6, 2015

Parenting conferenceI will be the first to admit, that yes I can! I am an older dad with two young daughters (12 and 9) who are both strong-willed and quick to share opinions. Occasionally this all comes together in a perfect storm–if you get my drift! And I confess to not always handling those storms in the right way. So certainly I can always use some more information on how to parent better.

This is what the Central Arkansas Parenting Conference held at the Levy Church of Christ in North Little Rock, Arkansas on January 23-24 is all about–sharing information to encourage better parenting. My wife and my go-to people when we need parenting advice are Christian counselors, Dr. Alan and Sherry Pogue. Fortunately for me, Alan is a shepherd at my church and both he and Sherry have helped us on numerous occasions with solid counsel and wisdom from their experience and education. They are keynoting this conference and will bring that wisdom and experience with them. If it were just them alone this would be a must-attend event, but there is much more.

Over the weekend several presenters will lead break-out sessions covering a wide range of parenting topics.  Among some of the topics covered:

  • Blended families
  • Parenting daughters, sons, preschoolers, middle schoolers and teens
  • Adjusting to becoming an empty nester
  • How to effectively discipline
  • Balancing busy schedules
  • Fostering and/or adopting
  • Being a new parent
  • Children and technology
  • Public, private and home schooling
  • Living with ADD/ADHD children
  • Helping children develop a positive self-esteem
  • Teaching kids about money
  • Building faith in children at home
  • Dealing with children in a grow-up-too-fast culture
  • Teaching kids about mission work

If you are anywhere near Central Arkansas, I urge you to strongly consider attending this special weekend event. You can look over the entire schedule and register at capc.eventbrite.com or you can register at a congregation of the churches of Christ in the Little Rock/North Little Rock area.



Everything Has Changed

February 7, 2013


I try to keep current on the ongoing dialogue about what is ailing our churches. There is one clear consensus flowing out of this discussion: Besides a few bright lights scattered across the nation most churches are getting smaller and older.

The fact is (which should surprise few)—the church is losing the younger generation. The disconnect between the church and the emerging generations only seems to be growing.

Tons of stats by research groups bear witness. The eye test on any given Sunday in any given church support the stats.

And we really do not have a grasp on what to do about it.

  • Some argue that our worship needs to include more bells and whistles.  We need more screens; better music; less preaching; and more pizazz.
  • Others think an emphasis on social ministry is the best approach. Studies are often cited to demonstrate how this appeals to the younger demographic.
  • Still others believe that the move toward the above and away from traditional approaches to church and worship have helped create the disconnect and the solution is to move back toward orthodoxy.

When someone finally figures it out—clue me in, please.  I honestly do not know, but somehow I feel that it is a little more complex than all of that.

What I do know is that in my lifetime of ministry—everything has changed.

Recently with my kids (ages 12 and 7) I watched a couple of episodes of the old sitcom, The Cosby Show.  That show is a 1980s vintage and I marveled at its outlook and content.  Cutting edge then was dealing with teens having sex and drinking too much at a party.

Compare that with issues that confront our youngest now—sexting; gender/sexual orientation questions; legalized marijuana; internet pornography; the redefinition of family; the ubiquitous social media; the idolized celebrity culture; the lack of jobs for college graduates in their fields and the failing promise of the American dream.  (You can make your own list.)

Do we really believe that reviving up our worship will address any of this?

In truth, we all know the answer.

It is Jesus.

So, our challenge is for the church to become Jesus to our younger generations.

If we can figure out what that looks like, maybe everything will change again.